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寫英文e-mail必看!學會這招讓你的e-mail更具說服力

文/周強

e-mail(電子郵件)是目前國際職場上用來溝通的利器,多益測驗的閱讀測驗中也常會出現email題型。e-mail的寫作不需要長篇大論,也不需要璀璨的佳句,而是要辭能達意的正確英文句子。要寫好英文e-mail的技巧有很多,但是在此我們的切入點是如何強化事實的敘述,來使一封短短的e-mail更有效率的達到其功能,並顯現你讓外國客戶尊敬的專業能力。

「強化事實的敘述」,顧名思義就是在英文句子裡提供事實,以增加說服力。例如:「He loves Hokkaido.」,意思是他真愛北海道。但是如果把這個句子改寫為:「He loves Hokkaido. In fact, he went there again last month.」,讓增加的事實告訴讀句子的人:他真的愛北海道,愛到他上個月又去了一趟那裡。

有些人的e-mail句子略顯空洞,如果能增加事實的敘述,則能讓句子生色不少,並且強化該句的論點。試看以下例子:

1
原句:
Clayton is the leading brand in the market right now.
Clayton現在是市場上的領導品牌。)

強化事實後的改寫:
Clayton is the leading brand in the market right now. As a matter of fact, it has a 60% market share in this country.
Clayton現在是市場上的領導品牌。事實上,它在這個國家有百分之六十的市場佔有率。)

光說是「領導品牌」略嫌空洞;提出市佔率的事實敘述,增加了「領導品牌」的具體性。

2
原句:
Bill Meyer is an excellent salesperson in the company.
Bill Meyer是公司裡很讚的銷售員。)

強化事實後的改寫:
According to the data from the quarterly sales report, Bill Meyer is an excellent salesperson in the company.
(根據銷貨季報的數據顯示,Bill Meyer是公司裡很讚的銷售員。)

光說是「很讚的銷售員」不夠具體;用銷售報告上的數字來佐証其論點。

3
原句:
I am afraid that Ms. Smith’s remarks are wrong.
(我恐怕Smith女士的評論是錯的。)

強化事實後的改寫:
I am afraid that Ms. Smith’s remarks are wrong. The truth is that over 30 customers requested a refund for this product last week.
(我恐怕Smith女士的評論是錯的。事實上,上星期有超過30名消費者要求此項產品的退款。)

當我們在國際職場上,看到各國國際人士的e-mail寫作風格上,各有特色。但是那些加上「事實敘述」的e-mail會讓人格外印象深刻。我們在此以一組閱讀題做為範例。這封電子郵件是這麼起頭的:

This e-mail is in response to your letter of October 14, which stated that my membership at your fitness center will expire on October 31. I wish to let you know that I have chosen not to renew it.

這位人士說:「這封電子郵件是回應你1014日的信件,信上說我在你們健身中心的會員資格將在1031日到期。我希望讓你們知道的是,我選擇不再續約。」

做為一家健身中心的會員,應該與這家健身中心多多少少有一些情感。既然不再續約,想必事出必有因;這位會員接下來做了「事實敘述」,來補強他的論點(看來他還挺有情有義的):

When I first became a member, the cost was $25 per month. Now the cost is $50 per month. Aside from this significant increase in cost, I have been dissatisfied with some of the services at the fitness center. There never seems to be enough equipment available for use at peak hours during the day. In addition, many of the new aerobics classes that I registered for were canceled due to low attendance.

看來這位會員受了不少委曲,因為這麼寫道:「當我剛加入會員時,每月會費是25美金。但是現在是每月50美金。除了會費的顯著增加之外,我對健身中心的一些服務也不滿意。健身器材在白天尖峰時段,似乎總是不夠。此外,我報名的許多有氧舞蹈新課程,都因出席率低而取消。」

很明顯的,這位健身中心會員列舉了三項事實描述:

1. 會費顯著增加。
2.
健身器材不夠。
3.
有氧舞蹈課被取消。

如果你看懂了這封e-mail,那以下這兩題應該是難不倒你:

1. Why did this person send the e-mail?
(A) To explain why she will not renew her membership
(B) To recommend an increase in staff
(C) To ask for information about the center
(D) To report that a machine is not working

2. What is NOT one of this person’s concerns?
(A) Fitness equipment is sometimes unavailable.
(B) Some aerobics classes were cancelled.
(C) The membership fees are too high.
(D) The fitness trainers are inexperienced.

解析:
1題的正確答案是(A)。題目是問此人為何寄出email;從e-mail的起頭「I wish to let you know that I have chosen not to renew it.」即知,此會員是要解釋說明不續約會員資格。答案(B)是建議增加員工,答案(C)是詢問健身中心資訊,答案(D)是通報設備故障,皆不符。

2題的正確答案是(D)。題目是問下列哪一項不是此人的考量。答案(A)(B)(C)分別是我們前述此會員不續約原因的「事實」。但答案(D)的「健身教練經驗不足」末提及,所以為正解。

如果你常常需要與外國客戶使用e-mail做業務上的溝通,記住,要多使用「事實敘述」來強化你的電子郵件的寫作風格!

 

【資料來源:English OK